When officials in Frederick County, Maryland voted last year to stop paying for the local Head Start preschool program, they pointed to a nearly $12 million projected budget shortfall as proof that the mostly rural county could no longer afford it, Reuters reports. But some parents, supporters and others saw politics at play, especially as two county commissioners who supported relinquishing the program emphasized the need for strong marriages and the fact that their own wives stayed home to care for their children. A year later, the school readiness program less than 50 miles from the nation’s capital survives, but with wounds…

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staff and wire services reports